Identification of Level of Mastery
After taking the Listening Self-Inventory, I calculated my score, which was 42 (Glenn & Pood 1989). Possible scores on the survey range from 15 through 75; scores over 60 indicate excellent listening skills, while scores of 40 or less show that listening skills need a lot of improvement. I have strengths in several areas, and these are because of my empathy. For instance, I really try to understand others’ points of view, I do not listen to them with preconceived ideas about what they are saying, and people realize I understand their viewpoint even when we disagree.
Practical Application of Skill, Ability or Attribute
Listening skills are valuable in every aspect of life, from home and family life to scholarship and career advancement. A good listener is better able to perceive, analyze, and understand the situations and people around him. This allows better decision making, better rapport with people, greater success in education, it helps to develop tolerance, and makes it easier to understand different points of view. For example, students will benefit from practicing good listening skills because they will absorb more from lectures, as well as be able to formulate better questions to help advance their learning. Educators can improve the quality of their teaching by talking to students and assessing what aspects of lessons need more clarity. Managers with good listening skills can better utilize the feedback of employees under their supervision, as well as gain employees’ trust and respect.
My personal goal is to attain a score above 60 on the Listening Self-Inventory. This will help me not only in my educational and career progress, but also in my daily interactions with friends and family. The survey indicates several areas in which I need improvement. First, I tend to try to listen to too many conversations at once; therefore, I need to learn to focus on listening to one conversation at a time. My weakest point is that sometimes I pretend to pay attention to people. This may be a part of the problem mentioned previously, when I try to listen to too many conversations at once. Rather than pretend to listen, I need to fully engage and focus in the conversation in which I am immediately involved. Finally, I tend to evaluate what people are trying to say before they finish their statements. Withholding my evaluation and waiting to develop a response until they finish speaking will allow me to understand what they are really trying to say.
Glenn, E.C. and Pood, E.A. (1989). Listening Self-Inventory. Supervisory Management, 12-15.